The Best Time to Cruise to Hawaii

A cruise to Hawaii is more than an escape to paradise. Sure, it has luscious landscapes with cascading waterfalls, lava-spewing volcanoes and pristine beaches. But the aloha spirit and the culture make Hawaii truly special. Each island has a unique personality. One of the best ways to experience the islands is by cruise because you can unpack just once and go to multiple islands. Spend the night in Honolulu, island-hop to Maui, Kauai, and the Big Island.

The best time to cruise to Hawaii on a cruise depends on the specific vision you have for your island vacation. What do you most want to experience? Do you care about crowds? Do you picture a romantic getaway or a family vacation? We have relaxing roundtrips to four Hawaiian Islands that depart from San Diego and Vancouver, and longer voyages from Hawaii to Tahiti and Marquesas. Our Collector’s Voyages encompass Hawaii and the Mexican Riviera. 

Best Month to Cruise Hawaii for Weather

It depends on whether you prefer warm or slightly warmer. Hawaii boasts balmy temperatures year-round and has only two seasons, winter and summer. Winter is November until April and Summer is May to October. There are minor temperature fluctuations between the two and it rains more in winter.  

In summer, the average temperature during the day is a balmy 85˚ F and in winter, it’s 78˚ F. That said, the conditions vary depending on your elevation and the side of the island you’re on. If it’s raining on one side, it may be sunny on the other. 

Hawaii even has a teensy bit of snow. The white stuff caps Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa, the two largest volcanoes in the island chain. 

Cheapest Months To Go To Hawaii 

January and September. Cruise during shoulder season if you want to have a fabulous time and save money. Shoulder season is not only the best for your budget; the crowds thin out, giving you more elbow room at the beaches and attractions. 

There are two shoulder seasons, one in spring, from mid-March to the beginning of May, and the other in fall, from September to late November. 

When Should You Not Go To Hawaii?

If you want to save money and avoid crowds, you should not go to Hawaii in late December, as this is the high season when families escape the cold. That said, if you don’t mind the throngs of tourists and prices, a holiday in Hawaii is unforgettable with special celebrations, palm trees decked out in holiday lights, ukulele caroling and more. 

Best Month for Wildlife in Hawaii 

Hawaii is rich with wildlife, all year long. Many visit Hawaii hoping to see a whale, monk seal, or green sea turtle. Whale watching season runs from November to April. The peak months are January and February for thousands of migratory humpbacks, as they visit Hawaii when it gets cold in their feeding grounds to the north. You may see Hawaiian monk seals—an endangered species—any time of year, especially when on Kauai. May is the birthing month for these adorable creatures. Summer is the best time to see sea turtles, as the water is calmer, and they like to pull themselves ashore to toast up in the sun. 

Give any animal you encounter in Hawaii plenty of space. Approaching wildlife can be dangerous for the animal and results in hefty fines. 

Best Cruise Line to Take to Hawaii

Holland America Line won “Best Cruise Line for Hawaii Sailings” from TravelAge West two years in a row. Our cruises deliver a deeper understanding of this incredible place and its culture. Sway to the sounds of Hawaii during Aloha Sunset Music hour or attend a live cooking demonstration and add Hawaiian recipes to your home repertoire. Every day is incredible on board and ashore. 

Make your island dreams come true. Book dream Hawaii cruises and longer voyages to Hawaii, Tahiti & Marquesas.